June 14, 2013: This Week at Engine Yard

This is the week a big chunk of the San Francisco development team went on a roadtrip to our Portland office to do some intense cross-office feature pollination. Things may have started out with some office rivalry, but developers quickly overcame any differences to work together to build, drink copious amounts of amazing coffee, and figure out the location of some of the awesome restaurants Portland has to offer. Pro-Tip: check out Blue Star donuts #amazing.

Tasha Drew, Product Manager

Engineering Updates

Customer feedback is important to us and is an important part of how we prioritize work within our product management process. We received a few comments from customers who were frustrated because they couldn’t figure out why they were being charged money when they didn’t have any running instances. The answer was that they still had IP addresses that were detached from instances when the instances were terminated, but not deleted.

Customers can always see IP addresses and manage them in the dashboard by going to Tools -> IP addresses, but we decided to add more messaging to call this out to people.

Going forward, you will see a dashboard notice if you delete an instance and don’t delete the IP address - and you will also receive an email. We will also be sending out emails to any customer who has an account where the only items they’re being billed for are IP addresses and snapshots to let them know.

Hope this helps going forward! Big thanks to one of our newest platform developers, the amazing Daniela, for turning this request around so quickly.

We’re also wrapping up some cool new features around snapshot management which you should be reading about in this space next week!

Data Data Data

Our lead data engineer, Ines, has been busy working on the underlying code for exciting new features that we’ll be rolling out in the next few months. She also handed off a new feature that allows for database version locking to alleviate upgrade pains. The DBA team is actively testing and improving it and we should make it available soon. Watch out for her blogpost next week.

Ines and I were delighted to get to meet up with local Postgres ladies while we were in Portland. Selena Deckelmann has some great thoughts on the intersection of developers and Operations on her blog for those of you who need some fun weekend reading. Kris Pennella gave me a valuable reminder to take a deep breath when facing stressful situations in her blog, “3 Tips Channeling a Negative into a Positive.”

We also had the pleasure of seeing Basho’s Eric Redmond (author of 7 Databases in 7 weeks and the Little Riak Book). We got a chance to hear some of the features that will come in Riak 1.4 and we are very excited!

Social Calendar (Come say hi!)

Friday June 14 - Saturday June 15: DevOps Days Amsterdam!: Meet the always charming Slava and the ridiculously knowledgable Richard as they hang out and participate in this awesome DevOps conference where we are not only a PaaS – we are also a cake.

Tuesday June 18, 19:00: Ruby Ireland Meetup at Engine Yard Dublin. We are Going off The Rails this month at Ruby Ireland as we go through some of the options for extending your web apps with mobile apps or through a Javascript framework. Kevin Fagan, Fergal Condron, Simon Rand, Gavin Joyce and Paul Watson will be speaking.

Thursday June 20 - Friday June 21st: Lyon, France, Ruby Lugdunum: Crowd favorite Engine Yard engineer PJ Hagerty will be presenting at Ruby Lugdunum in exotic Lyon, France, on how to grow and nurture your local Ruby group.

Thursday June 20, 18:30: Open Data Ireland #8 at Engine Yard Dublin. General theme for ODI Meetup #8 is ‘Open Government Partnership’. This meetup will be facilitated by Denis Parfenov, Tom Stewart and Nuala Haughey. We’ll be hosting a brief presentation from OGP representative. The rest of the evening will be dedicated to building topic- specific, multi-stakeholder/multi-disciplinary working groups with a view to taking an active part in co-drafting/crowdsourcing Ireland’s first national Action Plan around OGP principles.

Thursday June 20, 19:00: Engine Yard’s Buffalo Offices: Riak is bustin’ out all over in June, a meetup led by renouned Riakifier Dave Parfitt.

Articles of Interest

Drink coffee: avoid death! The New York Times tells us exactly what we’ve been hoping to hear.

Nobody Understands the GIL: Jesse Storimer explores MRI and analyzes functions for thread safety.

And for our distributed systems fans (that’s everyone, right?) a deep dive into non-blocking transactional atomicity by Peter Bailis.

Call me maybe: Kyle Kingsbury’s summary post on Jepsen looking at how various databases handle network partitions.